Williamsport, Pennsylvania – The District 14-G Lions clubs, along with the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), recently donated a mobile assistive technology laboratory to North Central Sight Services (NCSS) in Williamsport.
The bespoke trailer will provide assistive technology to the blind or visually impaired in Bradford, Center, Clinton, Lycoming, Sullivan and Tioga counties.
In the summer of 2020, NCSS set up a state-of-the-art Assistive Technology Lab at its Reach Road facility, providing customers and community members with convenient ways to work with the latest tools and equipment to help blind or blind people gain independence and access to information .
The Assistive Technology Lab includes low-tech products such as special pens that write darkly and don’t bleed through the paper, fill level indicators, portable magnifying glasses and talking clocks to high-tech wearables and sophisticated digital magnification systems.
However, with transportation being the major obstacle for the visually impaired, NCSS felt it was vitally important to get the technology on its way to customers. As a result, customers are now served in the most remote areas of North Central Pennsylvania.
Former Lions District Governor Jim Wilbur, Jim Douty, Jim Crawley recognized the need and immediately jumped in to help.
“The Three Jims” applied for funding, bought the trailer and adapted it to the agency’s needs. Workstations and cabinets with specially designed locking mechanisms to keep them secure while driving have been custom built and installed.
The lab also has a generator that provides power to make it a standalone facility to demonstrate the technology. The mobile laboratory is also equipped with everything necessary, including a spare tire, a locking mechanism on the hitch, a painted floor, a step for safe entry and exit, and even a broom and dustpan to keep things tidy.
“I’m excited to bring our Mobile AT Lab to the streets and bring technology to the people who need it most,” said Brandon DeArment, NCSS AT and IT Specialist.
Brian Patchett, President and CEO of NCSS, added, “I really appreciate the Lions’ enthusiasm to sponsor and donate this mobile facility that enables community members to access information and technology in all aspects of their lives. Having been an expert and user of Assistive Technology, I know the invaluable value Assistive Technology brings to the life of someone with a visual impairment. “
“Thank you to the Three Jims and the Lions Club International Foundation for realizing our dream of a mobile AT laboratory. This gift will bring independence to so many people in our area, ”added Patchett.
Learn more about it NCSS, or if you know someone who is visually impaired and needs assistance, visit us at 2121 Reach Road, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, call (570) 323-9401 to schedule a service team member to visit, tour or visit the Assistive Technology Lab.